Burning Rivalry: Cincinnati Reds Vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Frank Jones

reds vs pirates

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates is a storied and time-honored competition in Major League Baseball.

Spanning over a century, this intense and passionate matchup has captivated fans, defined eras, and given rise to iconic moments.

From the early days of the National League to the modern era, these two teams have engaged in thrilling battles on the diamond, forging a legacy that continues to shape the history of the sport.

As two of the league’s oldest and proudest franchises, the Reds and Pirates have cultivated dedicated fanbases and left an indelible mark on the fabric of baseball history.

History: Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

The Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates have a long and storied history in Major League Baseball, dating back to the late 19th century. . .

Let’s compare the history of these two teams in various aspects

World Series Titles

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have won a total of five World Series championships. They were crowned champions in 1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990. The Reds’ success in the 1970s, known as the “Big Red Machine” era, is particularly notable.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have won five World Series titles as well. They were victorious in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979. The Pirates’ victory in 1960 included one of the most iconic moments in World Series history, with Bill Mazeroski hitting a walk-off home run to win Game 7.

Division Championships

  • Cincinnati Reds: The Reds have won a total of ten National League Central division titles. They won their first division title in 1970 and have had multiple successes in the 1990s and early 2010s.

  • Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates have won nine National League Central division titles. They have experienced periods of success, particularly in the 1970s and early 1990s.

Fanbase: Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

The fanbase of the Cincinnati Reds is often referred to as one of the most passionate in baseball. The Reds have a deep-rooted history that dates back to 1869, making them one of the oldest professional baseball teams.

This long history has forged a strong connection between the team and its fans.

The Reds’ fanbase is known for its unwavering support, regardless of the team’s performance. They fill Great American Ball Park, the Reds’ home stadium, with energy and enthusiasm, creating a lively and electric atmosphere during home games.

Reds fans have a strong sense of pride in their team’s accomplishments, including five World Series titles and numerous legendary players who have donned the Cincinnati uniform.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The fanbase of the Pittsburgh Pirates is also passionate and devoted to their team. The Pirates have a storied history that dates back to the 19th century and have won five World Series titles, with the most recent one in 1979.

Pirates fans are known for their resilience and dedication, despite periods of ups and downs in the team’s performance.

They have a strong connection to the team’s rich baseball tradition and legendary players, including Hall of Famers such as Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell.

Iconic Moments: Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates has produced several iconic moments throughout their long history. These moments have helped solidify the intensity and significance of their rivalry in Major League Baseball.

Here are some of the most memorable and iconic moments

The Brawl of 1985

On April 6, 1985, a heated exchange between Reds manager Pete Rose and Pirates manager Chuck Tanner escalated into a massive bench-clearing brawl. The incident involved players from both teams, resulting in multiple ejections and suspensions.

The brawl added fuel to the fire in the rivalry and remains one of the most infamous incidents between the Reds and Pirates.

The Opening of Great American Ball Park (2003)

In 2003, the Reds opened their new home stadium, Great American Ball Park, in Cincinnati. Coincidentally, the first series held at the new stadium was against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The historic significance of this event added an extra layer of intensity to the rivalry as both teams sought to make a statement in the inaugural games at the new ballpark.

The 2013 Wild Card Game

The Reds and the Pirates met in the National League Wild Card Game in 2013. This single-game playoff was highly anticipated as the Pirates were making their first postseason appearance in over two decades.

The game was a back-and-forth affair, with the Pirates eventually prevailing with a 6-2 victory. This win marked a significant moment in the Pirates’ resurgence and further fueled the intensity of their rivalry with the Reds.

Johnny Cueto’s Drop Ball Incident (2010)

In a game between the Reds and the Pirates on August 2, 2010, Cincinnati pitcher Johnny Cueto found himself in the middle of a contentious moment.

After a series of hit batsmen and escalating tensions, Cueto inexplicably dropped the ball and kicked it during a mound visit.

This action triggered another brawl between the two teams, adding another chapter to their fiery history.

Honus Wagner and the Flying Dutchman

Honus Wagner, one of baseball’s all-time greats, spent the majority of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His exceptional talent and sportsmanship made him a beloved figure in Pittsburgh and a respected rival in Cincinnati.

Wagner’s performances against the Reds, along with his storied career, contributed to the legendary status of this rivalry.

Roberto Clemente’s Heroics

While not directly related to specific moments against the Reds, the heroics of Roberto Clemente, the iconic Pirates outfielder, were always captivating to watch.

His contributions to the Pirates’ success and his impact on the game as a whole further added to the rivalry’s historical significance.

Future Outlook: Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds have shown promise with some key players performing well in 2021, but they face substantial obstacles. The team’s glaring weaknesses in the bullpen and defense have been evident, hindering their ability to consistently close out games.

Injuries to key players have also disrupted their momentum, further impacting their overall performance.

The Reds’ financial commitments to long-term contracts may limit their flexibility in making moves to address their weaknesses or acquire additional talent.

With several expensive contracts on the books, they will need to find creative ways to bolster their roster and maintain financial stability. Developing their young talent will be crucial for the Reds to build a competitive team capable of contending in the challenging NL Central.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates have been in a full-scale rebuild mode, accumulating promising young talent through trades and player development. Players like Ke’Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, and Mitch Keller have shown glimpses of their potential, giving hope for the future.

However, the Pirates’ current struggles are evident in their poor performance across various statistical categories. To transform into contenders, the Pirates must continue nurturing their prospects and ensuring they reach their full potential.

The team will also need to address their deficiencies in batting, pitching, and fielding.

Recent Performance: Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates

  • April 5, 2023: Reds 5, Pirates 3.

  • April 6, 2023: Reds 14, Pirates 1.

  • April 7, 2023: Pirates 7, Reds 6.

  • May 10, 2023: Reds 14, Pirates 1.

  • May 11, 2023: Reds 8, Pirates 6.

  • May 12, 2023: Pirates 7, Reds 2.

Cincinnati Reds Vs Pittsburgh Pirates Rivalry

1903Apr 25, 1903Forbes Field (PIT)Pittsburgh9-4
1912May 11, 1912Palace of the Fans (CIN)Cincinnati9-0
1925Sep 25, 1925Forbes Field (PIT)Pittsburgh10-2
1960Oct 13, 1960Forbes Field (PIT)Pittsburgh10-9
1972May 1, 1972Riverfront Stadium (CIN)Cincinnati7-6
1975Oct 15, 1975Riverfront Stadium (CIN)Cincinnati7-2
1979Sep 30, 1979Three Rivers Stadium (PIT)Pittsburgh5-2
1990Oct 12, 1990Riverfront Stadium (CIN)Cincinnati2-1
2013Oct 1, 2013PNC Park (PIT)Pittsburgh6-2
2021Jul 1, 2021Great American Ball Park (CIN)Cincinnati11-4


When did the rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates begin?

The rivalry between the Reds and Pirates dates back to the early days of Major League Baseball. Their first meeting can be traced to the late 1800s when both teams were members of the National League.

What are some iconic moments in the Reds vs. Pirates rivalry?

Iconic moments in the rivalry include the “Brawl of 1985,” the opening of Great American Ball Park in 2003 with the first series against the Pirates, and the 2013 Wild Card Game, where the Pirates secured a memorable postseason victory.

Who are some notable Hall of Famers associated with both teams?

The Cincinnati Reds boast Hall of Famers such as Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Barry Larkin. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh Pirates are known for legendary players like Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, and Willie Stargell.

How many World Series titles have each team won?

The Cincinnati Reds have won five World Series titles (1919, 1940, 1975, 1976, and 1990). The Pittsburgh Pirates have also won five World Series titles (1909, 1925, 1960, 1971, and 1979).

Where do the Reds and Pirates play their home games?

The Cincinnati Reds play their home games at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Pittsburgh Pirates play their home games at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates stands as a testament to the rich history and passion of Major League Baseball.

With iconic moments, legendary players, and dedicated fanbases, this longstanding feud has etched its place in baseball lore.

Both teams’ successes and World Series titles have further fueled the competitive spirit between them. As they continue to face off on the field, the Reds vs.

Pirates rivalry will undoubtedly inspire new chapters of excitement and intensity for fans, reminding us all of the timeless allure of America’s favorite pastime.